Sometimes shots don’t fall, even good ones.
That’s what Lebanon High dealt with Friday morning against Churchill in an OSAA 5A girls basketball consolation game at Gill Coliseum.
The Warriors, one of the top-scoring teams in 5A this season, made just 24.5 percent of their shots, including 4 of 26 (15.4) in the first half to fall behind by 17 at halftime.
In contrast to Thursday’s three-point quarterfinal loss to Crater, it wasn’t Churchill’s pressure that caused Lebanon problems. The Warriors got good looks against the Lancers but struggled to hit the net. A late comeback, like Thursday's when the team rallied from 13 down with eight minutes to go, never materialized and their season ended with a 56-43 loss.
“We knew what we had to do but we didn’t execute. Their shots were falling early and ours weren’t,” Lebanon senior guard Megan Miller said. “We fought hard and everybody did their best today. It just wasn’t there.”
Lebanon (21-5), the Mid-Willamette Conference champion, fell behind early as Churchill (21-5) jumped out to an 8-1 lead.
The Warriors got back in it with four straight points, including a Miller 3-pointer. But the Lancers got the final six points of the first quarter and the first two of the second to extend its advantage to double digits.
Lebanon couldn’t get its shots to fall and didn’t make another field goal until Paige Wombacher’s layin with 3:07 in the half cut Churchill’s lead to 23-9.
Maddy Romeo and Hollie Johnson hit 3s for the Warriors in the closing minutes, and Churchill took a 33-16 lead into halftime.
Lebanon’s 4 of 26 included three 3-pointers on 13 attempts. Churchill was 13 of 23 and 5 of 10 on 3s. Both teams had six turnovers.
The Warriors cut that 17-point halftime deficit to 12 in the third quarter and to 10 three different times in the fourth.
But Churchill ran clock and scored often enough when it had the ball in the final six minutes to close out the game.
“That was tough and we couldn’t get it going,” Lebanon coach Mardy Benedict said of his team’s offense. “The girls responded well, just like (Thursday). Then they still had that lead and were able to run possessions out.”
Ellie Croco, a junior post, led the Warriors with 16 points and 13 rebounds for her second double-double in the tournament.
Miller added six points and seven rebounds; Mary Workman six points, three rebounds and three assists; Morgan Hopkins five points and five rebounds; and Romeo five points and four rebounds.
Danika Starr had 23 points, six rebounds and six assists for Churchill, which will play Crescent Valley in Saturday’s fourth-place game.
Miller said her group of five seniors — along with Romeo, Hopkins, Wombacher and Allison Tatum — met at a Lebanon restaurant before the season to write down expectations for each other and for the team every day in practice.
“I know sometimes it can be frustrating when somebody’s always on you. But we have to get the young ones ready for next year,” she said.
Benedict called his seniors “a special group,” one that helped the program get back to the state tournament for the first time in five years.
Lebanon went 15-1 in conference play and had just one loss to an in-state team — a two-point defeat at Corvallis — in the regular season.
“Every day in practice they came to get better. Every day,” Benedict said, noting that some past teams of his might have felt sorry for themselves after a loss or dreaded watching game film. “This group didn’t do that, ever. The expectation was set through leadership of these kids. The expectation is this is what we do.”